[RECAP] BerlinStartup x THATS.ID How to Create An International Startup Ecosystem

(24/10) BerlinStartup and THATS.ID combined to help Indonesia understand what is required when creating an International Startup Ecosystem.

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This international collaboration between StartupBerlin and Thats.ID was located JSC Hive in Kuningan on Tuesday the 24th October, to give an overview of what it takes to create an international environment for startups to flourish. Guests speakers from Berlin, Bangalore, and Indonesia shared knowledge and experiences from their respective nations.
Session 1. Investment Opportunities in and outside of Indonesia.
Opening was East Ventures, in which Agung Bezharie giving a macro overview of how the Indonesian startup ecosystem is traveling, and trends that are occurring. A key point raising was that over the past 3 years, 2017 has actually seen the lowest amount of investment closes in startups, but has seen the largest investment growth annually (Investment Value $3B, 2 x Growth since 2016).
Investors from Indonesia think this lack of investment comes down to four key aspects;

  • Talent Development
  • Fiscal Incentives
  • Funding and Exit Opportunities
  • Startup Facilitation

Following East Ventures, Neha Jain from Z-Nation lab from Bangalore, India presented.
Z-Nation Lab is an Accelerator based in India. It supplies seed funding, but gives the opportunity for high growth tech startups and corporate innovators to get access to educational institutions, government organisations, mentors and guidance ranging from Silicon Valley, USA and India. Z-Nation Lab works with corporates for bridging innovation in their organisation through startup channels whilst giving the accelerated startups the opportunity to Peer-to-peer sharing and testing their products internally within the program. Z-Nation Lab is a great pathway for startups to move into further funding, such as Venture Capital.
Moving into the European examples, Carl Luis Reiger from Kompass Digital, a Berlin based Venture Capital shared his experience and examples.
This German based Venture Capital company invests in early stage startups, with ticket size ranging from $750k-$1m. Carl gave the example of the Globe’s 5 most powerful companies from 10 years ago were all hard style, brick and mortar companies (Exxon, Natural Resource-based), except for Microsoft. The evolution to 2017 has seen that all top 5 companies are digital companies. The ability for these companies to move fast and efficiently has allowed them to take huge market share (Facebook, Microsoft etc.) and have lower overheads.
From here, Kompass showcased a study that they conducted of over 200 startups from Berlin. This gave statistical backing and analytical insights into how entrepreneurs approach VC’s in Europe. On average, each startup would contact 58 investors, have 40 follow up meetings, and on average raise $1.3m in which they close in 12.5 weeks. This is an European example of how much time is consumed by fundraising for startups. Secondly, Carl discussed that on average pitch decks would be 19 slides long and on average spend 3m 44sec on a slide. For the topic of these slides, a stand out was that of market momentum, calling it ‘Why Now?’. It is important for the VC’s to understand why launch the product now and how it can use market readiness to sustain maximum growth.
Session 2. Social Enterprises from around the globe. 
This Panel Discussion hosted speakers from social enterprises from across the globe. They were;

  • Dola Samanta, yourstory, Bangalore
  • Wendy Pratama, Lingkaran, Jakarta
  • Maren Lesche, etventure Startup Hub, Berlin
  • Ces Rondario, Impact Hub, Manila
  • Aria Widyanto, Armartha, Indonesia

Key Discussion Points from this panel revolved around mistakes and lessons learnt from startup life, advice that the speakers would give to future startups, and how they manage social enterprises differently compared to a commercial startup.

  • Don’t let yourself get burnt out. Enjoy your time in the lifestyle, and make sure that you get time to slow down and step away.
  • Hire operational managers. Don’t let yourself be burden with meaningless jobs, focus on the important tasks such as fundraising, product development etc.
  • Start with a vision. Don’t come into a startup with the attitude solely of ‘how much money is this going to make me!?’. This is not sustainable, and does not focus on your purpose. Focus on your mission and goals.
  • Don’t stop asking for help. Always stay open to opinions and keep being exposed to your network. Good and new ideas can come from anyone!
  • Be careful when compromising profit over social impact. When competitors move into the market, you still need to keep moving on competitive advantages and evolving the product. This can sometimes cause a reduction in social impact focus. Be careful when compromising this as it could diminish your vision and move away from what you believe in. This is very difficult and needs to be thought through very carefully with the team.

Session 3. Creating an International Startup Ecosystem
The last session consisted of guest speakers discussing how governmental changes and policies can help startups get up and running, instead of acting as a barrier to entry.
Guest Speakers;

  • Sandiaga S. Uno, Vice Governor, City of Jakarta
  • Dr. Rainer Seider, Head of Unit International Co-operation, Ministry of Economics, Berlin
  • Dr. Ilham Habibie, Head of the Indonesian ICT Council and Vice Chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce
  • Daniel Tumewu, HI INDONESIA, Jakarta


  • Jakarta has moved it’s policy changes to be solely based on data. All new policies that are created by the Jakartan government are data driven and are aiming at not inhibiting startups, but facilitating them.
  • Startups create employment. Indonesian startups will drive employment ratings up, and this needs to be re-enforced. Without entrepreneurs there is a lack of growth and employment. Jakarta government is hoping that by increasing startup counts, employment will follow.
  • Focus areas for Jakarta revolve around traffic and flooding. This will be aimed at creating real time solutions from the startup ecosystem and implementing on the large scale Jakarta.

Over the three sessions, all speakers shared passionate stories and gave a great segue for the conversation to continue in regards to creating a International Startup Ecosystem in Indonesia.
A huge thank you to all guests who have travelled the world to attend and speak at the event, and safe travels!
Also, thank you and well done to the interactive crowd and asking such educated questions.

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